After a federal court decided that Texas must remove a 1,000-foot barrier intended to stop migrants from crossing the Rio Grande, Gov. Greg Abbott said he would appeal the verdict — and that he would not remove the floating barrier unless the Supreme Court ordered him to do so.
On Wednesday, Judge David Ezra of the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas ordered the removal of the barrier and ordered Texas to foot the bill, rejecting Abbott’s decision to install it in July “without authorization of any kind,” ruling the buoy system is “an obstruction to the navigable capacity of that waterway” and a “threat to human life.”
“Governor Abbott declared that he was not ‘asking for permission’ to carry out Operation Lone Star, the anti-immigrant program through which Texas built the floating barrier.” Unfortunately for Texas, approval is precisely what federal law needs before erecting impediments in the nation’s navigable rivers,” he explained.
Abbott quickly responded, stating that he intends to appeal. “Today’s court decision merely prolongs President Biden’s willful refusal to acknowledge that Texas is rightfully stepping up to do the job that he should have been doing all along,” his office declared, adding that “Texas is prepared to take this fight all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.”
Governor Abbott Vows to Maintain Border Barrier Amid Legal Battle and Escalating Tensions
When asked if the governor plans to remove the barrier while appealing Ezra’s decision, Abbott’s office referred Insider to the governor’s statement, which states: “We will continue to use every strategy to secure the border, including deploying Texas National Guard soldiers and Department of Public Safety troopers and installing strategic barriers.” Our fight to maintain Texas’ sovereign right to protect lives from the disruption produced by President Biden’s open border policy is just getting started.”
The 1,000-foot-long network of floating buoys was part of the newest Operation Lone Star initiative, divided by serrated saw blades and containing a subsurface mesh net. The barrier has provoked outrage from the Mexican authorities and immigration supporters since its construction.
The ruling by Ezra came after the Justice Department filed a preliminary injunction in late July, claiming that the barriers violated federal law, specifically the Rivers and Harbors Act.
“This floating barrier endangers navigation and public safety in the Rio Grande River, and it raises humanitarian concerns,” according to the government. “As a result, we intend to seek appropriate legal remedies, such as injunctive relief requiring the removal of obstructions or other structures in the Rio Grande River.”
Source: Business Insider